Monday, February 3, 2014

Strawberries! By Joyce Lavene

It’s going to be strawberry season soon!

I’m looking forward to strawberry season, as I do every year. In February, the red fruits begin coming into stores. It’s like the first sign of spring for me – exciting stuff!

These first fruit will never be as good as the local farm strawberries that come later, but it’s hard to resist that taste until April or May when the best ones are ready.

Did you know strawberries have been written about, and eaten, for more than 2,000 years? They have been assigned magic powers, and been said to be the fruit of Venus. It was believed that breaking a strawberry in half and sharing it with someone would make that person fall in love with you.

In America, strawberries were one of the first native foods Europeans recognized. Strawberries grew wild, and had also been cultivated by Native Americans, for many years. One of their strawberry recipes, a mixture of cornmeal and strawberries, was actually the basis for the strawberry shortcake we enjoy today!

The name strawberry (originally streoberie) may have been derived from the Anglo-Saxon verb to spread straw, as many growers tend to grow this tasty fruit in beds of straw. The name we use now wasn’t recognized until 1538.

I'm going to eat some strawberries now instead of writing about them. I hope you have some to enjoy too!

By Joyce Lavene 

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